December 28, 2015
A new year-end report by Treehugger.com confirms Costa Rica achieved an incredible 99 percent renewable energy production rate in 2015. In fact, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the country’s publicly-owned electricity provider, issued a statement claiming the nation was completely fossil fuel-free for an astounding 285 days of the year.
Costa Rica reached the 99 percent renewable energy mark with the aforementioned mixture of hydroelectric plants, which provide 80 percent of the country’s energy, with wind, biomass, and solar power. The country’s large river system and heavy rainfall also aided the efforts, in spite of the fact 2015 was a particularly dry year.
Costa Rica still has huge goals beyond just aiming for a 100 percent carbon neutral status by the year 2021. Ultimately, according to ICE, Costa Rica wants to shift its transportation industry away from fossil fuels, and officials also want to add new geothermal sources, which currently provide15 percent of the nation’s energy.
ICE electricity division chief, Luis Pacheco, said,
“[Costa Rica is] closing 2015 with renewable electricity milestones that have put us in the global spotlight.”
He predicted an even more renewable-friendly 2016, as rainfall will likely be heavier and a new $2.3 billion hydroelectric plant will come online.
Like Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, and many other Latin American countries, Costa Rica continues to lead the way in hydroelectric and renewable energy. Elsewhere, countries like Denmark, Sweden, Scotland, and Finland are showing a wide variety of strategies can be employed to wean industrialized nations off fossil fuels, which continue to pollute the environment with carbon emissions and waste.
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